Donation and Indigenous Communities11/13/2023
CELEBRATING NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH
Native American Heritage Month, recognized every November, is a time dedicated to honoring and celebrating the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and contributions of Native Americans. It serves as an opportunity to increase awareness about the histories, struggles, and triumphs of Indigenous peoples, both past and present.
Why is it important for us to celebrate Native American Heritage Month? It brings visibility and education to understand the diverse Native American communities across the nation. In Arizona alone, there are 22 federally recognized Native tribes.
Ultimately, Native American Heritage Month invites us all to learn, appreciate and honor Native American cultures while promoting meaningful dialogue and respect between Indigenous and non-indigenous communities.
DONATION AND TRANSPLANTATION ACROSS COMMUNITIES
In Arizona, there are 120 Native American/Alaska Native patients on the waiting list for a life–saving transplant. Nine of 10 Native Americans on the waiting list are currently waiting for a kidney.
Donation and transplantation can be successful regardless of the ethnicity of the donor and recipient. However, the chance of longer-term success and health may be greater if the donor and recipient are closely matched in terms of their shared genetic background, for most organs.
"I KNOW MY SON'S IN THERE..."
Seventeen years ago, Rosina French, received the phone call no parent wants. Her son Trent had been involved in an ATV accident and was ultimately declared brain dead. At just 24 years old, he gave the gift of life through organ donation.
Rosina wrote to his recipients and heard back from several. Trent’s kidney and liver recipient, Ray, is a Navajo rancher in New Mexico. After being on the waiting list for nine years, Ray got the call for his second chance through Trent’s gifts. Rosina, Ray and ray’s wife, Rita, have visited each other many times and built a friendship.
“We’ve become rather close,” says Rosina. “I just love him dearly and try to keep in contact with them as much as possible. We always end our phone calls with ‘I love you.’ He tells me he has cravings for coffee and pizza now and he never had that problem before, so I know my son’s in there.”
YOU CAN HELP
Let’s create a more inclusive transplant community for all. Together, we can save and improve the quality of life in Indigenous communities.
How? Join the DonateLifeAZ Registry when you apply for or renew a driver’s license or state ID at an ADOT MVD office. You can also register online now at DonateLifeAZ.org.